With smashill I am researching different ways to test out the waters of the creative money making ocean. One thing is pretty obvious, don’t buy into a service that offers a pro and an amateur version. In case you are creating stuff and sell it through a site they service usually charges a fee for each product you sell with them. You can decide how big your winnings for each piece are, but after all you give them a share. This is a good model. Every gallery owner takes a piece of the pie, even in real life, fair is fair, after all they are giving you a space to showcase your work.
Nevertheless don’t trust people who want to sell you an additional service. After all they are already making money with your stuff. There are galleries where you can upload a certain number of works with a specified amount of webspace. Let’s say 100 pictures and 500MB. Sounds reasonable? Well… high quality prints could use larger files… but ok, let’s forget about this part. Now this service offers a pro version for an additional fee per year giving you more space and a few more features.
Why do they do this? Easy, their gallery does not make enough money itlself! SO…they have to get money from the artists. You are already paying them with a commission(!), so there should be no reason to charge more money from you. After all you either make them money or you don’t. There are better systems that would reward real artists. For example after a certain amount of sales you can upload another set of images. Let’s say you have an initial amount of 50 images. You upload those and can’t upload more… until you have sold maybe 200 or 300 files. Then you can upload 50 more. Something like that. Amateur artists have to work harder to get their art sold, while the others are rewarded for stuff that sells.
Or they leave this system completely and it’s up to you how much you invest, which is the best way to go. Why is this the best way? Pretty easy, you give the website content for free and they get money from your sales. It’s a win-win situation. Don’t trust people who want money from you. In case you are that famous you are probably better off with your own web-shop or selling at another place.